Valid to April 2026
Audeamus Service Dogs recognized in 2016 that there were no industry standards for service dogs in Canada. Since that time, Audeamus developed a research partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina to develop an evidence-based program centered around Veteran and service dog interactions. This resulting research, alongside engagement with mental health professionals, has informed the ongoing development of the Audeamus program curriculum.
Audeamus has participated in several research projects aimed at understanding the influence of the skills of and bond with service dogs and service dog training on substance use recovery and mental health; insight has also been gained on best learning practices, public access, and the role of outside supports and services. These and others’ research projects and processes helped the program build its knowledge base in preparation to seek accreditation as a non profit human services organization. This included the development and revision of numerous program administration materials, such as training standards, online learning materials, and risk and quality outcomes manuals. These were submitted as part of the accreditation process. Interviews were also conducted with the research team, board of directors, trainers, and program participants to capture their experience with and reflections on the program.
Accreditation standards are a series of descriptive statements that outline and define best practices for human services organizations. Canadian Accreditation Council was determined to be a best fit for the Audeamus Service Dogs accreditation.
The Canadian Accreditation Council is a leading Canadian international accreditation organization that goes through a rigorous and comprehensive analytical process to determine if an organization is deemed ready for accreditation.
CAC’s standards are divided into three areas:
• Governance & Management standards – All Not-for-profit organizations are required to be accredited under the Governance & Management standards to ensure legal operations, ethics accountability and public transparency
• Program standards – All programs undergoing the accreditation must self assess their practices in written form with documented evidence and then undergo extensive peer review
• Enhanced Designation standards – Because Audeamus works so closely with mental health outcomes, we selected to have our organization undergo review related to best practices in mental health care.
Audeamus Service Dogs was successful in becoming one of the first accredited Service Dog Organizations in Canada with the three Governance & Management, Training, and Mental Health designation standards.
Through the Accreditation process, Audeamus now has an established framework to ensure our management, ethical practices, and case management (training) practices continue to undergo review for quality assurance and monitoring of program outcomes. This will make our organization utmost accountable to the Veterans we work for and with.